Archive for July, 2008

Garden Update - July

Monday, July 28th, 2008

It’s been too long since I’ve written an update of our garden.  We were lucky to have lots of rain while we were away, the garden was just thriving when we got back.  Everything got huge!  Our peas, basil and tomatoes have grown so tall.  The carrots are looking more promising.  The parsnips are officially dead - well, I don’t think they sprouted.  We planted two corns for fun, and they’re about a foot and a half tall, I don’t think we’ll get any corn, though.  We were very happy to find the raspberries just about ready for picking.

We’ve been picking the sweet peas and raspberries daily, I don’t think any of them made their way back to the kitchen.  I’ve never had fresh sweet peas before - it’s fun to pick them and eat the peas right out of the pod.  I had plans to make some raspberry tarts, but we haven’t been able to save them from Ella yet.

Here are some pictures from our garden.

The tomatoes plants are looking wild.  They are starting to flower.  I can’t wait for fresh tomatoes.

Sweet Basil

We’ve harvested some basil for pesto already.  

The peas look so overgrown. 

Sweet Corn

Our two stalks of corn.

Carrots

The carrot patch.

Raspberries

Raspberries



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Local Eating Hawaii style

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Local fruits


It’s been a few weeks since we’ve updated the website since we were vacationing on the beautiful island of Kauai in Hawaii. It’s the furthest accessible island (the furthest is off-limits) and the least developed. Lots of hiking, kayaking, beaches, etc. Surprising there are a lot of chickens! They’re as populous as squirrels are here (but at least squirrels don’t crow at 3am!).

We rented a cottage in the midst of farmland and plantations and a long walk to the beach. It was blissful.

Ok, so what does this have to do with local eating? Well, we maintained (and probably improved) our local eating habits on this vacation. The property we were on had mango, papaya, banana, orange and breadfruit trees. There is at least one farmer’s market on the island every day which rounded out our kitchen with pineapples, lettuce, corn, cucumbers, eggs and more. Local meat was a little harder to confirm. We ate pork chops, chicken and fish. The fish was definitely local but the poultry and pork was origin-unknown. The oddest thing we saw was a tomato from Canada!!! How can that be economical?

Papaya Trees

We were fortunate to be given access to a local organic fruit farm for a quick tour and saw pineapple bushes. We learned that it takes 20 months to grow a pineapple and you only get a single fruit from each plant. It’s no wonder we don’t see Hawaiian pineapples in Canada - they would be ridiculously expensive given American labour rates and the cost of shipping from Hawaii. It’s too bad because they have a special variety (Sugarloaf) which is exceptional! Low in acid and very sweet.

Sugarloaf Pineapple Bushes

We really wanted to bring a pineapple home with us but expected to need to purchase it from an inspected market (for export). We just missed the location from which we planned to buy them and ended up buying them from the airport for far too much money. Unfortunately they were from Maui! Again, why fly them from Maui when they grow on Kauai? Regardless, once we bought the pineapple I realised there was no “export approved” type label on the package. Since every piece of luggage leaving Kauai for the mainland is inspected by the US Dept of Agriculture we asked them if there was anything special about these “airport pineapples”…. no! So, for anyone flying to Hawaii, pick up pineapples anywhere and bring them home! We were cautioned that pineapple is the only fruit allowed back.